NCAA to issue ruling on Miami case Tuesday morning

10/21/2013 3:12 PM

10/21/2013 3:37 PM

Decision day will arrive Tuesday for Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith and the University of Miami.

The NCAA will unveil the findings of its investigation into Miami athletics and any proposed sanctions at 9 a.m. Tuesday, about 2 1/2 years after the probe began and more than eight months after saying the Hurricanes did not “exercise institutional control” over former booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro’s interactions with the football and men’s basketball programs.

The NCAA said Britton Banowsky, who chairs the infractions committee, would discuss the decision on a teleconference at 10 a.m., one hour after the word will be released.

Haith, who coached the Hurricanes from 2004-11, was accused in February of failure to monitor, which the NCAA describes as “a serious violation that is similar to lack of institutional control but considered less significant.”

In June, Haith and Miami officials appeared in front of the infractions committee. The school — and other individuals no longer at Miami but charged with breaking NCAA rules — expressed their frustration with the NCAA enforcement staff in light of the admitted mistakes it made during its 23-month investigation.

In January, the NCAA announced that former enforcement staff members worked with Shapiro’s attorney to improperly obtain information. The NCAA then hired an external review committee that discarded about 20 percent of the information that was deemed tainted because of the NCAA’s own “improper conduct.”

Shapiro said in a 2011 Yahoo Sports report that Haith was complicit in a $10,000 payment to a family member of player DeQuan Jones, with assistant coach Jake Morton serving as the primary liaison in the deal. Haith has steadfastly denied the charge, as has Jones’ family.

The NCAA notice of allegations given to Haith says that Shapiro threatened to claim he had paid a Miami recruit unless Haith or Morton provided money to Shapiro. According to the NCAA, Haith failed to alert the athletic department, failed to ensure that Shapiro’s claim lacked merit or disclose Morton’s financial dealings with Shapiro. Instead, the notice says, Haith gave money to Morton that he then provided to Shapiro.

According to the NCAA bylaw regarding failure to monitor, head coaches and staff have an obligation to report suspected rules violations and actual rules violations to their administration.

One former Haith assistant at Miami — Michael Schwartz, now at Fresno State — was previously cleared by the NCAA.

But Morton and former Miami assistant Jorge Fernandez are accused by the NCAA of allowing Shapiro to promote Miami’s athletic programs and assist in the recruitment of three players, including former Kentucky star John Wall. Both Morton and Fernandez are also accused of providing impermissible travel and entertainment benefits to people associated with recruits.

One of the athletes, Durand Scott, eventually attended Miami and was suspended for six games last season for receiving impermissible benefits. Senior center Reggie Johnson was not named in Morton’s notice, but also sat out one game last year after the NCAA found that a family member had received impermissible travel benefits from a coach on the former staff.

Shapiro also claimed he spent millions between 2002 and 2010 on football and men’s basketball recruits, athletes and coaches.

Miami has maintained that self-imposed penalties — including the suspensions of more than a dozen athletes, restitution in some cases, two missed football bowl games and a missed trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference football title game last year — should be enough to atone for whatever rules were broken. Miami’s football team is 6-0 and ranked No. 7.

“We believe strongly in the principles and values of fairness and due process,” university President Donna Shalala said Feb. 18, one day before the school received its allegations. “However, we have been wronged in this investigation, and we believe that this process must come to a swift resolution, which includes no additional punitive measures beyond those already self-imposed.”


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